In the Land of Pain

Author: Alphonse Daudet
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 1101970871
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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As Julian Barnes writes in the introduction to his superb translation of Alphonse Daudet’s La Doulou, the mostly forgotten writer nowadays “ate at the top literary table” during his lifetime (1840–1897). Henry James described him as “the happiest novelist” and “the most charming story-teller” of his day. Yet if Daudet dined in the highest company, he was also “a member of a less enviable nineteenth-century French club: that of literary syphilitics.” In the Land of Pain—notes toward a book never written—is his timelessly resonant response to the disease. In quick, sharp, unflinching strokes of his pen, Daudet wrote about his symptoms (“This is me: the one-man-band of pain”) and his treatments (“Mor-phine nights . . . thick black waves, sleepless on the surface of life, the void beneath”); about his fears and reflections (“Pain, you must be everything for me. Let me find in you all those foreign lands you will not let me visit. Be my philosophy, be my science”); his impressions of the patients, himself included, and their strange life at curative baths and spas (“Russians, both men and women, go into the baths naked . . . Alarm among the Southerners”); and about the “clever way in which death cuts us down, but makes it look like just a thinning-out.” Given Barnes’s crystalline translation, these notes comprise a record—at once shattering and lighthearted, haunting and beguiling—of both the banal and the transformative experience of physical suffering, and a testament to the complex resiliency of the human spirit.

Letters From My Windmill

Author: Alphonse Daudet
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1625584415
Format: PDF, Docs
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The stories are all told by the author in the first person, typically addressing a Parisian reader. The author, having relocated his home from Paris, recounts short bucolic tales about his new life in Provence as well as his trips to Corsica and French Algeria. Considered to be light-hearted, and often a bit tongue-in-cheek, the stories vary from day-to-day events in southern France to Provençal folk-tales, and often feature professions and faunal references characteristic of Provence.

Demons

Author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Publisher: Courier Dover Publications
ISBN: 0486825736
Format: PDF, Docs
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A self-styled revolutionary and his followers plot to overthrow the Tsar and seize control of the government in Dostoyevsky's cautionary tale about the destructive forces of demagoguery and unbridled rhetoric.

Stoner

Author: John Williams
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590173937
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar’s life, so different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage into a “proper” family estranges him from his parents; his career is stymied; his wife and daughter turn coldly away from him; a transforming experience of new love ends under threat of scandal. Driven ever deeper within himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an essential solitude. John Williams’s luminous and deeply moving novel is a work of quiet perfection. William Stoner emerges from it not only as an archetypal American, but as an unlikely existential hero, standing, like a figure in a painting by Edward Hopper, in stark relief against an unforgiving world.

The Double and the Gambler

Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307279715
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The award-winning translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have given us the definitive version of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s strikingly original short novels, The Double and The Gambler.The Double is a surprisingly modern hallucinatory nightmare–foreshadowing Kafka and Sartre–in which a minor official named Goliadkin becomes aware of a mysterious doppelganger, a man who has his name and his face and who gradually and relentlessly begins to displace him with his friends and colleagues. The Gambler is a stunning psychological portrait of a young man's exhilarating and destructive addiction to gambling, a compulsion that Dostoevsky–who once gambled away his young wife's wedding ring–knew intimately from his own experience. In chronicling the disastrous love affairs and gambling adventures of Alexei Ivanovich, Dostoevsky explores the irresistible temptation to look into the abyss of ultimate risk that he believed was an essential part of the Russian national character. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Love Peace and Soul

Author: Ericka Blount Danois
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
ISBN: 1480363987
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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(Book). Love, Peace, and Soul tells the story of the television phenomenon known as Soul Train , a show created in the land of bell bottoms, afros, and soul power; a show that became the touchstone of the Baby Boomer generation. Don Cornelius, host and owner of the show, was one of the coolest cats on television. With his platform shoes, wide neckties, and mellifluous voice, he showed the world just how corny American Bandstand was in comparison. In 2012, fans were shocked to hear one of the most powerful men in the music and television business took his own life. Love, Peace, and Soul is a celebratory, behind-the-scenes collection of anecdotes, stories, and reflections, from the people who were there, about the host, the show, and the power of black music and dance on television. Music and television connoisseurs will enjoy the history of not just Soul Train , but of other shows, including Shindig! , Don Kirshner's Rock Concert , Hullabaloo , American Bandstand , and Graffiti Rock . Entrepreneurs will be interested in Cornelius' humble beginnings with the local version of the show in Chicago, created with his own money. Fans will delight in the lively images and the quirky details. The first mass market book on Soul Train since Cornelius's passing, this volume has something for everyone. Includes afterword by Gary Harris.

The Mountain Lion

Author: Jean Stafford
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1466896604
Format: PDF, Docs
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Coming of age in pre-World War II California and Colorado brings tragedy to Molly and Ralph Fawcett in Jean Stafford's classic semi-autobiographical novel, The Mountain Lion, first published in 1947. Torn between their mother's world of genteel respectability and their grandfather's and uncle's world of cowboy masculinity, neither Molly nor Ralph can find an acceptable adult role to aspire to. As events move to their swift and inevitable conclusion, Stafford uncovers and indicts the social forces that require boys to sacrifice the feminine in order to become men and doom intelligent girls who aren't pretty.

How Much Land Does a Man Need

Author: Leo Tolstoy
Publisher: The Floating Press
ISBN: 1776672372
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Admired by intellectual giants like James Joyce and Ludwig Wittgenstein, Leo Tolstoy's brilliant short story "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" explores the soul-destroying toxicity of unbridled greed. An impoverished man named Pahom fantasizes about becoming a landowner, prompting the devil to swoop in and tempt him with the promise of vast riches.

Little Black Book of Stories

Author: A. S. Byatt
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307426637
Format: PDF, ePub
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Like Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, Isak Dinesen and Angela Carter, A. S. Byatt knows that fairy tales are for grownups. And in this ravishing collection she breathes new life into the form. Little Black Book of Stories offers shivers along with magical thrills. Leaves rustle underfoot in a dark wood: two middle-aged women, childhood friends reunited by chance, venture into a dark forest where once, many years before, they saw–or thought they saw–something unspeakable. Another woman, recently bereaved, finds herself slowly but surely turning into stone. A coolly rational ob-gyn has his world pushed off-axis by a waiflike art student with her own ideas about the uses of the body. Spellbinding, witty, lovely, terrifying, the Little Black Book of Stories is Byatt at the height of her craft. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Nemesis

Author: Philip Roth
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0547504500
Format: PDF
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Winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2011 In the "stifling heat of equatorial Newark," a terrifying epidemic is raging, threatening the children of the New Jersey city with maiming, paralysis, lifelong disability, and even death. This is the startling theme of Philip Roth’s wrenching new book: a wartime polio epidemic in the summer of 1944 and the effect it has on a closely knit, family-oriented Newark community and its children. At the center of Nemesis is a vigorous, dutiful twenty-three-year-old playground director, Bucky Cantor, a javelin thrower and weightlifter, who is devoted to his charges and disappointed with himself because his weak eyes have excluded him from serving in the war alongside his contemporaries. Focusing on Cantor’s dilemmas as polio begins to ravage his playground—and on the everyday realities he faces—Roth leads us through every inch of emotion such a pestilence can breed: the fear, the panic, the anger, the bewilderment, the suffering, and the pain. Moving between the smoldering, malodorous streets of besieged Newark and Indian Hill, a pristine children’s summer camp high in the Poconos—whose "mountain air was purified of all contaminants"—Roth depicts a decent, energetic man with the best intentions struggling in his own private war against the epidemic. Roth is tenderly exact at every point about Cantor’s passage into personal disaster, and no less exact about the condition of childhood. Through this story runs the dark questions that haunt all four of Roth’s late short novels, Everyman, Indignation, The Humbling, and now Nemesis: What kind of accidental choices fatally shape a life? How does the individual withstand the onslaught of circumstance?